Saturday, June 5, 2010

No Childhood Regrets


Since the Nightline show aired, I've pretty much stayed away from message boards and discussions about the show. Simply because I know how the majority of people respond to the biased reporting of what they think Radical Unschooling is.

One idea that keeps coming up in the little that I have read from viewers, is the idea that our children will be mad at us, once they are adults, for not forcing them to go through the traditional system. I read many times over the years that once our children are grown that they are going to be so upset that we didn't punish them, or force them to do things that they didn't want to do.

This is such a false projection! This isn't based in personal experience. It is people who were forced to jump through the cultural hoops their whole life and who were parented putatively. They desperately want to believe that what they went through as a child was not only necessary, but that they subconsciously wanted and needed to live the life that they did and that it was their only option.

The people making these comments have never met a grown unschooler in real life. The truth is a very different reality.

A grown unschooler, who is a good friend of mine, wrote on his mothers Facebook page for Mother's Day;

"Another day of many to give thanks for you mother, best of friends.
Thank you for your blood, your milk, and your ability to let go, rethink everything and embrace this expansive, fulfilling, experience TOGETHER! Love Unlimited"

I was so touched by Quinn's message to his mother than it really made me think how grateful grown Radical Unschoolers actually are for their childhoods!

I have another dear friend, who has always been Unschooled. He is 21 and his Facebook photo is a one of him and his mother with their arms around one another. I think it is beautiful!

Another beautiful and happy family whom I spent time with who have two grown Unschooled daughters talk to their mother with adoration and love and put their arms around her regularly. The love they have for her is beautiful and infectious. Just being around this family made me proud to be living the life we are today.

This does not seem like anger, or regret or any of the results that the mainstream commenter's have predicted will happen with children who are raised this way!

How is it possible to give your child love, respect and kindness and have them, in turn become regretful of this? It simply goes against natural law! The truth is my children thank me for the life I've given them. They are grateful for the respect and love that they live every single day.

I have no worries that my children will wish I was any different than who I am when they were children. In fact, I know they will look back on these days as joyful and right, and in turn live a level of happiness in their adult years that most in our culture never get to experience.

13 comments:

Idzie said...

Great post. As a grown unschooler, I feel thankful every day for the life my parents gave me by supporting me in learning freely, instead of sending me to school! I'm as far as I can possibly be from anger or resentment for the childhood I had.

LeAynne said...

Thanks for addressing the "they will be mad at us" hogwash. I find that the older my 23 year old son gets, the more often he thanks me for our experience.

Shady Lady said...

This is a great post, Dayna. I have been saying, for the past several weeks, that if they want to truly show how unschooling works they need to show the grown unschoolers. We just attented the LIFE is Good conference in Washington. It was wonderful to see and listen to the grown unschoolers. What amazing people they are!! That said, it seems obvious that the "news" shows are really going for sensationalism not news.

Shari said...

Beautifully said Dayna! My children tell me everyday how much they love me and that I am the greatest mom in the world:) I asked my 14 year old daughter if she thought she would be mad at me for not punishing her and not making her do things she didn't want to do and I got the expected answer a big laugh. She loves her life and loves how close we are, as do I. We were laughing earlier because I told her you were my unschooling goddess, and she said well mom have you told her that, she's probably love to hear it. So there ya go. Thanks for all you do Dayna. You do indeed ROCK! Shari

Momioso said...

I think you're sooo wise to avoid all the negative comments. Why subject yourself to that? And thanks for the anecdotes about grown unschoolers. I love hearing these stories!

Rachel said...

Dayna, I've been following your blog for a while but have never commented...but just wanted to today to let you know how much I admire you and your family. I love reading about your journey. I think that there are many people out here that do really support you and hear *your* message (and not the media's perspective). Perhaps many of them, like me, haven't thought to let you know, yet, though! So I just want to let you know. My kids are little and we are feeling our way through an unschooling path, and I so much appreciate seeing and hearing about those of you on your own paths. Thank you!!

taliah said...

Sending you a big squeeze from across the Atlantic. I can only imagine that for so many fear simply won't let them react with anything but hostility. How could anyone believe children are angry about not being punished, and not being forced to spend all their waking hours away from their support network of family and friends, not mention all their activities which inspire them. There is so much more to living life than collecting papers with stars on them.

Danielle said...

I have never met an unschooler in real life. (I've tried to guess in my head on homeschool day at my job, though...)

I pay close attention to how people I admire (you included) who are "well known" handle criticism. I do so, because I feel like a lot is in store for me as well, and I may receive some criticism. I don't know how I would handle it if I did...

I have not read comments on this show since the day after it aired, but from what I've seen, the majority have been positive comments. I think the most negative I've seen were of the "I don't agree, but I see where she's coming from" persuasion. Which it a hell of a lot better than some of the ones that, say, Joel Osteen gets.

Danielle said...

I have never met an unschooler in real life. (I've tried to guess in my head on homeschool day at my job, though...)

I pay close attention to how people I admire (you included) who are "well known" handle criticism. I do so, because I feel like a lot is in store for me as well, and I may receive some criticism. I don't know how I would handle it if I did...

I have not read comments on this show since the day after it aired, but from what I've seen, the majority have been positive comments. I think the most negative I've seen were of the "I don't agree, but I see where she's coming from" persuasion. Which it a hell of a lot better than some of the ones that, say, Joel Osteen gets.

Rayne said...

Hey Dayna,

We homeschooled from the beginning and evolved over time to unschooling. Every now and then I would listen to the negative and lose some ground but not for long. So as I look at the relationship I have with my 3 children (now 22, 20, and 16) I can see that the ones who were mostly UNschooled have a much closer relationship with me. My oldest, who sadly was subjected to more "school at home" than the younger two and I have a good relationship but I can tell the difference. I wish I had come across the idea of unschooling MUCH sooner in my life and had had the confidence to go for it. When I only began to relax a little and started dropping some things I no longer thought necessary I had a friend who talked with me because she was "afraid I was going to be deceived" yikes! Glad we found our freedom. My ONLY regret was that we didn't discover it sooner.
Love you guys!

windingcirclelifeschool said...

Dayna, I was pretty much Radically Unscooled...though I had no idea there was a term for it and I doubt my mother did at the time.I dont regret it at all.I learnt so much from life.People just dont understand how things really are for those who choose to live a different path...not just in education but all areas of life.We have had some negative comments from people we see who know we HOMESCHOOL not unschool since the CNN program (I think) aired here in AUST.Its like they expect us to side with their traditional ideas.I would hate to know what they would say if they knew we unschooled.They have no idea and are so negative.I am not sure you can change those peoples opinions, in fact i doubt it, but you are a wonderful peorson and an insperation to those of us who have found this path.Thankyou for all you have done and will do:)
J

mb said...

hi dayna, this is my first time commenting but i've been reading some of your stuff over the past year or so... and loving it. but this post speaks so deeply to me, and when i got to the part of the grown son's comment on mother's day, i choked up- it is my dream for my own quinn and i to have that relationship and i'm just so glad we are on that path and have so many wonderful people out there to look to for "evidence" on those rare days when we are feeling less confident. anyway, thank you again.
mary beth

Children of Eve said...

Ahhhh, this just makes me pine for more children. Life can be so good.